No Gray in Fifty Shades

In just over 2 weeks, women (and apparently men) will be flocking to theaters for the release of the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. The book is described as “an erotic romance novel...notable for its explicitly erotic scenes...”. (The description continues to describe the content of those scenes; I'm leaving out the rest because I don't want those terms to lead to my blog in a search. In my previous post on this topic, I used the phrase “pain,dominance, and bondage”. We'll just leave it at that.)

Anyone who has read my blog for long knows that porn is a hot-button issue for me. I have said before that I consider porn...in all its stages and variations...to be one of the greatest weapons of Satan in our age. The 50 Shades books/movie (and others like them) disturb me for that reason alone. These erotic fiction novels and movies are known as “mommy porn” or “soft porn”. Whatever label they wear, have no doubt: they are porn.

What disturbs me most about these books and movies, though, is how many professing Christians are reading/watching/celebrating/promoting them. As I said back in 2012:

What I cannot understand is how there can be ANY controversy about this book or this movie among those who profess to be Christians. What a heartbreaking example of Satan's powers of deception. So many people have no idea the "slippery slope" of porn and how devastatingly dangerous it can become very quickly...regardless of the gender of the one who partakes. I had read the True Woman post referenced in the comments of the Josh Harris post earlier this week, but hadn't read the comments. Wow. I am absolutely floored....although I shouldn't be. This is the power of the enemy and I am convinced that porn...in all it's stages and variations...is one of his strongest weapons in this age. *Sigh* I think I've pulled my soapbox out and hopped on...I had said that I wasn't going to blog on this, because there are already so many good blog posts out there on this topic, but I'm afraid I feel one coming on...because I am flooded with thoughts on this. One I have already shared, though, is this, " I want to be so caught up in the "more" that God created me for that I don't have time for books or movies like these to even be on my radar."

I blogged about Fifty Shades and Magic Mike back in 2012, and again last year. Since that time, I've seen more and more Christian women openly supporting these books/movies and others like them. My thoughts and feelings haven't changed since that time, but that original post (Fifty Shades, Magic Mike, and the More We Were Created For) needed a bit of a makeover, so I'm revamping it along with a few current thoughts. 

But first, a disclaimer. 

As I said back in 2012, for those who don't believe the Bible is the true, inerrant, holy Word of God...well, I'm glad to have you reading, and hope you'll stay and read some more, and I'd love to chat with you via the comments or email about that.  However, this particular post really isn't for you.  Because until a person realizes the depth of their sin against the holy and righteous Creator of the universe, repents of that sin, and accepts the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus...the rest really doesn't matter much.  If you haven't taken that step, I'd love to chat with you about it!

But my focus in this post is Christians...those who claim to have been convicted of sin, turned to God in repentance, and accepted that gift of eternal life...those who claim the name of Christ.  

Men Should Read and Learn

I've seen several people comment that men as well as women should read the book, because supposedly, through the main character (who uses pain, dominance, and bondage in his relationships with women), men can learn how to truly love and romance their wives.  

As more than one pastor of mine has said, there is a good Greek word for that...HOGWASH!! 

Men are not to follow the example of the hero in an erotic novel to know how to love their wives...they are to follow the example of Christ in the way that He loves His bride, the Church. 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,  so that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  because we are members of His body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:25-33

The War Within

The Bible says that lust is sin. The Bible says that sex outside of marriage is sin. For those who truly are Christ-followers, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and Jesus Christ has become the Lord of our lives. As Paul says in Romans 7:20-8:9, there is a war going on inside every true believer. In my previous post on this topic, I referenced a Sunday School lesson I had just taught to a group of youth girls:

There is a war between our new self and our old sin nature.  But...Jesus Christ has already won the war through His death and resurrection, and the Holy Spirit helps us to live in that victory. 

But how do we live in that victory?  The key, according to this lesson, is our mind-set...our way of thinking, developed by what we make the focus of our lives.  As these verses say, "those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit."

If we set our minds on things of the flesh, our flesh will control us.  If we set our minds on things of the Spirit, the Spirit controls us.  If we are truly Christians, by relationship, and not only by name, we are to have our hearts set on the things of God, not on things of this world.  The more we feed our flesh, the less sensitive we are going to be to the prompting and conviction of the Holy Spirit.  This gives Satan greater opportunity to deceive us...to make things that are sin look beautiful and appealing.  That is what he has been doing since the Garden of Eden...making things that God calls evil look good.  That deception is obvious in the discussion in Christian circles about this book and this movie. 

I shared this story with my Sunday School girls that day:  Many years ago, when I was in college, Gilbert and Susan Baker were my Sunday School teachers.  There are many things that have stuck with me all these years from my time in their class, but one of the biggest was about gray areas.  Gilbert quoted 1 John 1:5...God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  Gray, he pointed out, is white with a bit of black added...light with a bit of darkness.  But "in Him is no darkness at all."  So...if it is gray...it is not of God.  We are to "walk in the light, as He is in the light" (1 John 1:7)  And if we back up a verse there, He says that "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." 

He Is Lord

If He is truly our Savior, He is also our Lord. As Dr. Steven Lawson says, “Wherever Jesus is received as Savior, He must be recognized as Lord.” We must realize the tremendous importance of His Lordship in our lives, and the catastrophic results of sin when we don't allow Him that Lordship.

If It's Offensive...” and What Do We Thirst After?

The night before that 2012 post, Bro. Gary (who is now our pastor, but wasn't then:)) preached a sermon that hit me right between the eyes. God brings bits and pieces of it back to me from time to time, and it never fails to convict me. Here are some thoughts from that sermon (from John 4):

"Only a small portion of those who 'make decisions' evidence the grace of God in a transformed life." ~Walter Chantry, author of Today's Gospel, Authentic or Synthetic:

"We've stopped telling people that their sin offends a Holy God."  The Gospel is offensive to the lost. If the Gospel doesn't step on our toes, something is wrong. 

*Anything that is offensive to God should be offensive to us.

*People who are saved are going to thirst after the things of God.  

Based on those truths: 

1. Sexual immorality is offensive to God; therefore, it should be offensive to us

It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.     1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 (That applies in the reverse as well.)
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness,which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming. Colossians 3:5-6

2. If we are saved, we are going to thirst after the things of God.  

Another blogger posting on this subject said, "We were made for so much more!"  I commented on her post, " I want to be so caught up in the "more" that God created me for (and I want the same for my children) that I don't have time for books/movies like these to even be on my radar. "  I want to be seeking after Him with all my heart!  I want to be so full of His best for me that everything else fades into complete obscurity.  

Who Can Fathom?

The Sunday before I wrote that 2012 post, I was struck deeply by this song by by Mark Altrogge. It so perfectly declares the holiness, glory, beauty, majesty, and righteousness of our God.   How can we even think of filling our minds with the likes of Fifty Shades or Magic Mike in the light of His love and mercy and grace?

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard 
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You 
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

You are beautiful beyond description
Yet God crushed You for my sin
In agony and deep affliction
Cut off that I might enter in
Who can grasp such tender compassion?
Who can fathom this mercy so free?
You are beautiful beyond description
Lamb of God who died for me

2015 Thoughts

None of those thoughts have changed since 2012, but as I've written this post, I've had a couple more.

First, there are many things we may see and do differently as Christian women. We may be married or single, we may have children or not (by choice or not by choice), we may work out of the home or be SAHMs or WAHMs, we may homeschool or send our children off to school, we may eat all organic or hit the drive-throughs a little too often, we may vaccinate our children or not, use essential oils or not, be helicopter parents or tiger moms or moms who let our children run free. We can make different choices in those and many other areas, and all those things are okay. They are lifestyle choices, and we must seek God's direction in those areas for ourselves and for our families.

Porn, however, is never a lifestyle choice. It is never okay, in any form. This is not a gray area. This is sin, pure and simple. As Christian women, we need to acknowledge that and live by it.

Second, the fact that I've purposed to avoid Fifty Shades and other books/movies of this genre doesn't mean that I am seeking Him with my whole heart.

I've been convicted all over again while writing this post. Saying “no” to “mommy porn” isn't enough. It doesn't mean that I'm seeking Him with all my heart, it doesn't mean that I am living in His grace from moment to moment, and it doesn't mean that my heart is pure or that I'm running from other types of evil.

Saying no to Fifty Shades and the like is good, it's important, it's vital. It's a starting point, for those who've allowed that type of filth into their minds, hearts, and lives.

But it's not enough.

I want more.

I want the more He created me for.

I want to seek Him with my whole heart.

I want to be so full of His best for me that everything else fades into complete obscurity.

Is that your heart? Do you want that "more"?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments here or on Facebook, or through the "contact me" box on the right.  Disagree?  Feel free to share also...as long as it stays clean and friendly.  I reserve the right to delete if I feel something crosses the line. :)


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